5HTP is often used to treat a range of conditions related to serotonin deficiency like anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorder, insomnia and post party blues.
But what is 5HTP and how does it work?
Well, it’s an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. It can also be found in the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia. It has long been recognised as a precursor to serotonin, which basically means it boosts serotonin levels by creating more serotonin.
Serotonin has various functions in the body including the regulation of mood, appetite and sleep. So, because 5-htp increases serotonin production, it helps alleviate the symptoms of serotonin deficiency.
To convert 5-HTP into serotonin, your body needs a chemical reaction to occur. This chemical reaction requires other nutrients too. Specifically Vitamins B2, B3 and B6, as well as magnesium, zinc and vitamin C. So if you’re body is deficient in any of these nutrients then taking 5HTP supplements alone may not be effective in boosting serotonin.
And that is how 5htp works.